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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/02/19 in all areas

  1. 15 points
    Although a little delayed I decided to publish this GIF that was sent to me at times by friend Ruud, Gif the one that evidences the diverse divisions existing in the rings of Saturn. It was based on a photo of me that surprised me because it shows what can be done with a good aperture telescope, a proper seeing and the correct use of a 685 nanometer infrared filter. August, 04-2018; 01:16 TU CMI: 356.9 CMIII: 199.0 C14 HD + ASI 290MC + PM 2X + IR 685 https://www.astrobin.com/389203/0/?nc= PS: You have to click on the link to see the GIF!
  2. 13 points
    A 13 hour LRGB image showing a collection of distant galaxies which was taken with my Esprit 150. The most notable objects are NGC2276 showing dust lane structure and relatively bright H regions together with the elliptical galaxy NGC2300, with its extensive gaseous envelope. Estimates place both galaxies at around 120 million light years away. I've also attached a Pixinsight annotated image which shows their relative positions plus a few (presumably) even more distant fuzzies. Alan LIGHTS: L:28, R:16, G:15, B:18 x 600s; DARKS:30, BIAS:100, FLATS:40 all at -20C.
  3. 11 points
    Finally got some clear skies, so I could test drive my LVI SmartGuider 2. I did get it to work on my EQ3-2, with dual mounted APM 80mm F/6, with TV TRF-2008 0.8x focal reducer, and modded Canon EOS 550D with Astronomik CLS-CCD filter, and ST80 with the LVI guide camera attached. I briefly tried a 120s sub, but I spotted some eggy shapes so stuck with 60s for now, eager to get imaging before clouds might spoil the fun. I got 150 60s subs at ISO 1600. Combined with 60 darks and a huge load of flats APP turned out this (with some final tweaks in Gimp) Quite chuffed at the result. I might ditch the last 30 lights as Alnitak was far more bloated in those than in the first lot (dew, ice, or perhaps haze to blame). Next time I hope to get longer subs, perhaps simply by switching to the Vixen Great Polaris mount, which is a lot sturdier.
  4. 10 points
    Hi this is just a quick one from last Wednesday night. I've had an awful couple of months weather wise here in the south of Ireland and a couple of hours of clear sky was a nice relief. Takahashi Epsilon 130, Zwo Asi 071 1.5 hours rgb in 120 second subs with 5 second subs for the core I blended in a little Ha data i had from last year at 20% opacity in blend mode lighten. From memory this was . 4 hours in 600 second subs with my now sold William Optics Star 71. Captured with Sgpro Stacked in APP and processed in APP and PS. Hopefully more to come soon Richard.
  5. 10 points
    In stark contrast to Barry-Wilson's version earlier this week, here's my take on this nebula. Imaged over several nights during January through my Star 71 from my Bortle 7/8 back garden in London, this is 8 hours and 10 minutes in total. 3h10m Ha 2h30m SII 2h30m OIII All in 5 minute subs at max gain. Feels like I've processed this 100 times as I've been accumulating the data; I've imaged the whole Soul nebula but the OIII data is still particularly noisy and suffers from a strong gradient even after several attempts at DBE in PI, so I've ended up cropping down to what you see here which I feel is quite striking. As the Ha data is the strongest I've used this as luminance to produce an HSHO image with some selective colour editing in Photoshop. Feedback welcomed
  6. 10 points
    Unexpectedly clear at just after 20:00 local time, I suited up and set up. It was in my mind to visit some doubles using a dual frac assembly, Stanley the TV-85 as main scope and Bjorn the Borg 71FL as ultra finder. This works really well, once the scopes are precisely aligned with each other. There's no double Bjorn can't easily find, thus Stanley can stay focused at 200x while we hop between them. Of course, with so few observing opportunities lately, I couldn't resist a few other targets. I did not expect the clarity to last long, but ended up spending almost four hours - only stopping to keep the toes from growing unheathily cold. I didn't take notes, but here's the list as far as I recall. M35 M37 M36 M38 Almach 6 Triaguli Lambda Arietis Mesarthim HR 891 1 Camelopardalis Stock 2 NGC 884 / 869 Melotte 20 M45 Trapezium Beta Monocerotis Epsilon Monocerotis Tegmen Iota Cancri 38 Lyncis Algieba Regulus Castor Wasat M44 So nice to get a great prolonged session! Equally nice to get back in for tea and warm toes. Clear skies and all blessings to you.
  7. 10 points
    It was a very clear night last night so after playing with imaging other DSO's I set my scope on NGC 3628 and once I had the RGB I left it running on the Lum. 10 x 60s RGB 100 X 60s Lum. C11 with focal reducer on a Mesu 200 mount ZWO ASI 183mm Pro with Astrodon LRGB filters on a Atik EFW3 and ZWO AOG with Lodestar X2 Processed in Pixinsight. Thanks for looking.
  8. 6 points
    It's been a slow start to 2019 from a stargazing perspective. Clouds, coughs and colds all preventing any time under the stars. This week has seen that turned around though. I had a nice trip to my local dark site on Monday with the highlights being the Rosette Nebula. Familiarity is paying dividends with this target, I'm seeing more and more nebulosity with each observation. Using my 30mm ES82 I was able to squeeze M46 and M47 into the same FOV. I used a UHC filter to make the planetary nebula, NGC 2438, stand out. I also observed a faint curve of nebulosity in the Flaming Star nebula using the UHC. Thanks to Gerry @jetstream for the filter tip! Tuesday night from home saw poor transparency and a very icy telescope. Despite conditions I still enjoyed views of Hubble's Variable nebula (NGC 2261), Hagrid's Dragon (NGC 2301) and the Christmas Tree cluster (NGC 2264) among others. To complete the trio of sessions for the week, I woke at 3:40 AM this morning for an early hours sessions. I'd actually set my alarm for 4 AM but I guess I was excited to get out! I can't get up at this time without wondering if Doug @cloudsweeper is already out observing! My first target was the Comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto). It's currently in the constellation Virgo. I found it with relative ease despite it being quite large and diffuse. Much more challenging than the bright views of Comet Wirtanen I experienced in December. The 13mm eyepiece helped to draw it out a bit more. No obvious tail that I noted. My next target was also in Virgo. I centred the finder on the star Porrima and, using SkySafari, started to star hop my way to the target. My intended target is mag 12.85 and is a point source. As a result, when I reached the correct area, I changed to my 9mm eyepiece and started comparing the star positions and their magnitudes in SkySafari to what I was seeing. I wanted to be sure of my observation. After 15 minutes or so, I finally felt confident that my view through the eyepiece was taking me back 2 BILLION light years to the Quasar, 3C 273. It was a visual unimpressive but completely awe inspiring at the same time. It's a distance well beyond my comprehension. Observing a Quasar was high up on my list of observing goals for 2019 and I'm very pleased to have done it. I decided to return to Comet 46/P, now in Ursa Major, and was puzzled to find it missing. Whilst checking SkySafari, I realised the galaxy NGC 2841 was nearby so off I went to find that. A nice bright fuzzy was soon found. It was a nice bonus and gave me confidence that the sky quality was still good. I returned to the site of Comet 46/P and stepped up the magnification with the 13mm eyepiece. Now the comet became visible. I was taken aback by how faint it now is, mag 13 according to SkySafari. For a final deep sky observation, I went across to the favourite M51. The two galaxies were nice and bright. I'm looking forward to seeing these under dark skies in the next month or two. One of the appeals of a session at this time was the chance to see some planets. Jupiter was now high enough to take a look at with Venus just appearing above the roof tops. On first look I only saw 3 moons, with Callisto being farther away from Jupiter than I was expecting. The seeing was poor but, as is often the case, persistence revealed some steadier patches. The equatorial belts were first to appear when the seeing steadied and then I thought I saw the great red spot. I added the Neodymium filter and sure enough there was the GRS. It was a very happy bonus observation. I swung over to Venus which was very wobbly. A very different view to the "little moon" observed in early December. I went back to Jupiter for a little longer, enjoying one last patch of clear seeing. I returned to the warmth of my bed at 6:10 AM, a very happy stargazer.
  9. 6 points
    Well, I just came in from outside, here in rural Lincolnshire where it's a beautiful night here. I waited for 10 minutes, wrapped up well, and seated on a garden chair insulated by a towel, so I was very comfortable. After approximately 12 or 13 separate counts, going from left side down, right side down top down and bottom up, the most consistent result I was confident in was 27 stars including the 3 in the Belt and 3 more being the M42 "cluster". Twice or three times I suspected 28th and 29th stars but was not confident enough to report these. And yes, some stars were best seen with averted vision, but definitely there. Back in the Midlands before we moved here, I would have been lucky to get half that number on the best nights, so I am very pleased with this result and will now report this as my score. I think if I went a mile up the hill out of our village I might have got the magic 30?. Dave
  10. 6 points
    Very slowly getting to grips with my processing.
  11. 6 points
    When I get the inevitable "wotcherdoin?" from the local kids when I'm setting up, I sometimes use this idea as the basis of my response: that I am setting up my time machine. That has even been known to spark their interest for long enough for me to instill a little astro knowledge ...
  12. 6 points
    Oh, that was a while back indeed. I noticed all those partial gaps, mostly at top right and bottom left, so I fitted ellipses on top of them to see if the apparent gaps connected around the planet. They do. The gaps are most likely real features. Now, had I know you'd share the result I would have obscured part of the ellipses, like so: Thanks for sharing your photo with my ellipses!
  13. 5 points
    Having just acquired a zwo 1600mm and being completely new to mono imaging I thought m42 would be a good test target before it heads too far west. Also first attempt at calibration but still had big gradients to deal with which were very hard to overcome. Not 100% certain I got it right so need to read up more. Approx 180 mins, Esprit 100 and zwo filters. R/G/B 40 mins each (8x 5 min subs) HA 1hour (12x 5min subs)
  14. 5 points
    I had a go at this. Dark adapted for about 10 minutes, counted several times over a further 10 minutes. I’m sure I counted 32 within the rectangle.
  15. 5 points
    More to look at framing than anything. The Sword and Flame with the 180mm f/3.4 on ASI1600. 12 mins each H, R, G, B in 60 sec subs. Stack and post , DDP and Histo Stretch in AA5. Only Bias for calibration as yet. More work needed. More data, and I think I'll try to add some [OIII] to the Green and Blue channels.
  16. 5 points
    111 2-minute subs in this version, I forgot I had a shot at it in December. Still noisy if you zoom in (this is flats only, darks and/or bias just made the noise worse), but has definitely caught the bigger, fainter nebulosity to the east of the Jellyfish. The streak across the nebula comes from a big star just out of frame at left, I did try and reduce it a bit.
  17. 5 points
    Fruits of last Saturday night. Fantastically clear but bitter cold!! Horse Head and Barnards Loop taken with the following... Canon 450D Modded / Canon 200 mm f2.8 USM @f4 / Vixen Photo guider. 45 x 120 sec subs (unguided) @ iso 800. Stacked in DSS with calibration frames. Processed in Photoshop. Thanks for looking Alan
  18. 5 points
    I included E & F Trapezium which I can now see naked eye with my new Takahashi contact lenses
  19. 5 points
    Hi everyone Continuing our investigation of the uhc filter... This time with the lens at f5.6. This produces star spikes, but it seems to have controlled the reflections. If anything, it is easier to balance than with a cls and it makes the red red rather than grey. Thanks for looking and clear skies. tair3s on 700d: 2 hours @ ISO800
  20. 4 points
    Work in progress Started this Saturday night. I love these galaxies and been wanting to image them a long time. So far, only 30 x 60s L and 10 x 60s RGB. C11 with focal reducer (1760mm), ASI183mm Pro. Astrodon filters. Mesu 200. Pixinsight. Thanks for looking Dave
  21. 4 points
    Tackling a Smallish Galaxy with a small F6 scope was not the brightest idea,but my intended target was well past the merian,before skies cleared for me. Anyway i opted for NGC2903 in Leo,as it was rising in the East. I spent a fairly while on this Galaxy,and was a litle dissapointed with what i got for my efforts. 4 hrs Luminance and 2 hrs RGB did,nt seem to short a time too spend on this Galaxy. I am mainly dissapointed with the colours of the Galaxy,as not too sure wether this is how its supposed to look.I was hoping for yellows/blues with dusty lanes. I was never going to get a large image with this set-up. Anyway. Mick.
  22. 4 points
    This image was taken about 2 weeks ago from my backyard Canon 1300Da and the 50mm 1.8 at f4 are a really good combination in my opinion Canon 1300Da 50mm f1.8 @f4 16x4min ISO1600 Bortle 3-4 backyard I hope you like it
  23. 4 points
    This is one of my 2018 summer holidays captures. The frame contains many hydrogen clouds (largest red blob is IC1396), and whole lot of dark nebulae. Bright yellow star at the IC1396 edge is mu Cephei - Garnet Star - one of the brightest known stars in the Galaxy. It is 350,000 times more luminous than Sun. Image is LRGBHO composition made with Samyang 135 lens, QHY163M camera and iOptron Smart EQ mount. It is about 3 hours of total exposure time. Thanks for watching!
  24. 4 points
    Excuse me ? I AM NGC 1502 Please do not “view” me at any power. I very strongly object to being looked at for any length of time. GOT IT ? Ok then. As long as you understand, I’m prepared to overlook this. ??
  25. 4 points
    As you observe these nebula often-yes keep going back over and over- you will see more and more. Once your "nebula eyes" are at or near their limit you will then be limited by the sky, not to say that the sky won't limit you now. I see the nebula as you describe with no filter. With the UHC I see the shape as a shade, but with mottling in a beautiful array of stars. There is a base structure of mottling with more popping in and out of view, similar to holding a threshold target for seconds and then it disappears only to reappear. I see the Crescent nebula outline very well with the interior full of very fine filaments in my 15"/OIII/UHC and I can see the brightest portion of the shell-a short spike- with no filter in direct vision. Under very good skies your 10"/Lunt 20mm/UHC will show a smaller version as described above with the filaments visible but harder to see, at leat my 10" shows it this way. Question- how many stars (roughly) do you see under "boomerang" of the Flaming Star? You are doing very well and you are going to be limited by your skies.
  26. 4 points
    Me next please! if this person is in the mood to build obsy's.
  27. 4 points
    Long time no updates. This project is still alive though. Finally getting somewhere with it. I now have a way to attach the battery, raspberry pi, usb hub and a gps module to the tray without having to modify them. All that is left to do is the power distribution and wiring really. Topside. Just the USB hub here at the moment. Underside. Battery, Raspberry Pi and GPS module. Here's how it sits on the tripod.
  28. 3 points
    tiny bit of sun here and a very quiet sol. just the one small prom and a bright area. seeings quite good " it would be when theres note to look at". kit 120mm f5, quark, asi120mc. thanks for looking. clear skys. charl. bright area. small prom oncoming limb midway.
  29. 3 points
    I showed my Bro some photos of an SGL members pulsar dome + attached blue and white painted shed a couple of days ago. Just because it looked such a well made build and I knew he would appreciate it. He seemed interested so I ended up showing him some of the different non dome designs with various roof openings etc. I'd also spotted a cheap metal shed (he is better with metal than wood), so I thought to show him that too ( just to use for general storage you understand). The day after he wandered back to me. "Buy one of those sheds sis, I'll convert it to an observatory. Said shed was 6'x 8' and 1.72cm high. I've ordered the shed, at the very least I can store the scopes in it, but I wonder if he will go ahead and sort the roof for me?.........Maybe watch this space!
  30. 3 points
    The Sun yesterday morning (Saturday 2/2/19) at 08:05 local time through 40mmDS PST 44X after long time..... Thanks for looking
  31. 3 points
    I setup shortly after dusk in the back garden out of the way of the streetlamp last night and had a brief but nice tour of Orion. I'm glad I did, the seeing was very steady, not a cloud in sight, and no moon. I started with some doubles, of which Orion has plenty. First was RIgel, Beta Ori at 125x. I do enjoy the challenge of doubles with a large magnitude difference, the companion struggling to shine through the glare of the brighter primary. Blue & White Delta Ori at 50x an easy split Sigma Ori didn't show any colour but with nearby Struve 761 is a wonderful adventure, increase the mag to reveal more components in an apparent endless supply of stars! (What's the smallest aperture anyone has used to split the AB components of Sigma? I've a vague recollection that Burnham split them with the 12" Lick refractor.) Iota Ori an easy split at 100x, then 200x. The primary seemed to be yellowish-white, secondary blue in comparison and no colour seen in the C component. 32 Ori seems ambitious with 4" aperture (even if well corrected) but definitely 'notched' at 125x, increasing mag made no difference. Theta 1 Ori, the Trapezium gave up A to D easily at 50x. E appeared with some effort for a moment. B appears violet, no colour seen in E during a fleeting glimpse. Going wide to take in M42 I'm certain I observed a hint of blue as well as the usual greenish hues. Spent a long time under the observing hood teasing out the faint stuff at 75x. NGC 2194 - Intergalactic Wanderer was dim, almost misty but rich with stars. NGC 2169 - The Little Pleiades, the 37 made me smile! M78, a faint patch with diffuse edges and a concentrated 'nucleus'. A quick jump into Taurus to finish with some favourites and then I popped in to grab the camera and tripod for a quick snap of the hunter as he made his way over the neighbour's roof. Then indoors for a nice brew. Happy days are here again.
  32. 3 points
    This was a real challenge for three reasons. Tiny f/4 scope, terrible seeing, and the fact that Mars is approaching it's furthest distance from Earth. It's kind of amazing I got anything really lol Heritage 100p f/4, ASI120mc, PIPP and Registax.
  33. 3 points
    Steve Tonkin (BinocularSky) recently compared six 10x50 binoculars for BBC Sky @ Night magazine. The Vortex Crossfire 10x50 performed especially well achieving 4.5/5. "The Vortex Crossfire is a good example of how modern manufacturing processes have narrowed the gap in optical quality between Porro and roof prism binoculars of similar prices. The 6.1° field of view is on a par with the Porros and flat enough that we could keep Albireo split into two components over the central 90 per cent. Colour rendition was excellent; not only do the deeply coloured stars seem vibrant, but the subtle differences between similarly coloured ones are easily visible as well. The focus is smooth and precise and the short-hinge design leaves more room for your fingers, making these binoculars very comfortable to hold. There is enough eye-relief to allow you to observe while wearing spectacles. The objective lens caps are tethered to the screw in the adaptor bush in the hinge, so they become untethered if you mount the binoculars. Apart from that, the only other niggle is the high minimum interpupillary distance (IPD: 60.5mm), which is an inevitable feature of the roof prism design used for 50mm aperture." Read the full article here.
  34. 3 points
    Hello people I found the time and love for my old passion back About 35 years ago I ground my own 8 inch mirror to build myself a Dobsonian but life decided to change things drastically and so I've been "out of business" (lost my time and interest in astronomy) for a long time. Being retired since january 1st I have all the time to start all over again and the passion starts to burn again . So here we are for part 2 Meanwhile that 8 inch project has been lost and the only equipment I have is an ETX70 from about 12 years ago. I'm going to "renew" it since it has been inactive all that time.
  35. 3 points
    John"s a poet but doesn't know it! Dave
  36. 3 points
    18 for me tonight, I'll try again on other nights as it was a bit hazy. Not a bad result for around here.
  37. 3 points
    Finally got myself a 3D printer so have printed the pier adapter - took 19.5 hours! Need to make a suitable center bolt, tweak the astro column play, and the mount will be ready for use!
  38. 3 points
    The car gingerly negotiated the final stretch of narrow road, compacted with snow and ice, climbing then descending, to reach with some relief the intended location in the Northumberland countryside. My plan was to capitalize on using a large exit pupil and widest possible field of view to both encapsulate and in some instances, enhance selective seasonal objects. Setting up a TV85 alongside my 14" OOUK dob in the snow, this equated to 4.4mm and 6.7mm exit pupil respectively. Conditions looked to be promising and steady with clear skies, although transparency was best described as good rather than excellent, SQM readings ranging between 21.1 and 20.96, a little short of expectations for this location, based on previous occasions. The air temperature was -9c and my mittens were later called for, interesting conundrum when changing filters. The Merope Nebula in M45 was quite apparent although faint and subtle in the dob not seen at all in the refractor. This was not such a surprise considering the disparately between each instruments exit pupil size. The Pleaides was culminating in the south and I would repeat observations throughout the session. Andromeda was the next wide field, large exit pupil target and for which the dust lanes just seem to go on for ever, expansively filling each TFOV, with the TV85 having much advantage conveying a pleasing 4.24 degree field. The Orion Nebula was of course repeatedly visited, filtered and unfiltered and at varied magnifications. In the widest possible field, nebulosity seemed to drift outwards reaching further bounds. At higher power, filtered and a bit more contrast, the Trapezium appears as an illuminated greenish tone, a shade of burnt orange surrounding the outer reaches and fine rippling textures abound. If there is one justifiable reason to go visit a dark sky location on a good night, the Orion Nebula is surely it, by now that wobbly ride in a vehicle more in keeping for the urban commute than an icy hill, was entirely forgotten. Dark nebula patch B34 using the TV85 would be my next target. Both M37 and M36 are almost sharing the field of view, with B34 situated two degrees west of M37. As with a previous occasion, I could not be sure I located this, perhaps transparency being not quite good enough for dark nebula searching. Undeterred, I tried again later on returning to Auriga as it ascended higher still in the South. Another large target is the Flaming Star nebula in Auriga IC 405. Its huge, with a UHC and wide field low power, you get a sense that you are in it, but I cannot gain the structure, not unlike close by IC 410, which I visited next The Tadpole, with an OIII filter and 21E can be bright and shapely. The California, an emission nebula, is a fine H-beta target, benefiting with the large exit pupil, applied to both scopes. In the TV85 it is encompassed comfortably inside the field of view. In the dob the profile was easy to assume and follow, subtle yet with much clarity, a satisfying object to observe at this time of year as Perseus is elevated high. Next followed Barnard's Loop and by following a familiar procedure, I was able to drift across this fine subtle veil starting at refection nebula M78 and using again my H-beta filter and advantageous 6.7mm exit pupil, arriving at the other side to open cluster NGC 2112. Nudging the scope a little north the Loop is also 'bright' dipping down south and it becomes invisible. Yet again I had become familiar with the characteristics for this direct observation and knew where and what I was looking at, which incidentally isn't much. There was no sign of the Southern Arc starting from Rigel. The Flame Nebula, the 21E worked best tonight readily profiling the dark central lane and filament structure, however drifting down in an attempt on the HH, this became a little scrappy, unclear unconvincing. Small reflection nebula NGC 2023 around one of the stars near to where B33 is situated was though apparent. Many more observations followed, the Monkey Head Nebula, The Eskimo Nebula, NGC 1514 Crystal Ball Nebula each with an OIII filter, particularly to resolve the Crystal Ball fuzz around a central star. I always seem to struggle though with the Collarbone nebula in Orion for some reason. Yet further fabulous wide field showcase objects were to follow in both scopes, M35 and NGC 2158 an uplifting spectacle in the dob and the double cluster sensational in the frac. M81 M82 and back to the many open clusters in Auriga concluded the session. Low power wide field large exit pupil observing in the right circumstances takes some beating.
  39. 3 points
    Hi Bingvader, I've owned the Panaview 32mm and the Aero/TS Optics 30mm and 40mm..(I still have the 30mm Aero. As you say, the Panaview is a decent entry into 2" wide field viewing. However, they are heavy units and poorly corrected at the edge of the field. Also, DON'T unscrew the 2" bottom barrel without extreme care as this barrel is all that stops the lens assembly from falling out! The Aero is lighter, more comfortable and much better corrected at the edge. Aero/Sky Rover/Rigel etc -they are all optically the same, ie excellent for the money..? You can pick these up for between £50 and £75 used (very little more than a used Panaview) - I paid I believe c £60 posted for my 30mm☺, and my newer 40mm went for c £70.. I personally prefer the 30mm with its darker sky background but both are excellent eyepieces. There is a 40mm for sale on here by @Ipeace (Mike) - a top guy and 100% trustworthy seller. Dave
  40. 3 points
    I agree with Avtar. I cut my teeth on imaging from Bortle 8 and although I am limited in what I can do from here, I can do a certain amount of narrowband. I do however have to travel to a dark location to get the rest. This is my new website that features ONLY stuff I have imaged from Bortle 8. https://sites.google.com/view/carastroimaging/home Carole
  41. 3 points
    I have Bortle 8 skies but there is still plenty to see. Double and multiple stars, open clusters, globular clusters, planets, the moon, asterisms. Enough to keep one busy for a lifetime.? Avtar
  42. 3 points
    Did a reprocess on the data, using only the first two hours to avoid the increased halos around the stars due to either the scope fogging up or haze increasing in the skies above. Seems to get a little less bloat in Alnitak. I have also made the background a bit darker, which seems to help.
  43. 3 points
    I assumed it was Lee's observatory (the one with the dome) that JOC mentioned first. One thing I believe that can be a problem with metal observatories is condensation -- obviously the metal cools very quickly at night and moisture in the warmer air inside can condense out on the metal and drip down onto the kit inside. I doubt it's an insurmountable problem however. I'd guess lining the metal and leaving any trapped moisture some route outside would do the job, but there are definitely SGL members who have observatories with a metal roof, or even went for entirely metal construction so hopefully they'll chip in with more knowledge than I have. Lining the inside might actually also help keep the inside cool on that hot day we get during the Summer some years, come to think of it. Good luck with it, and do post photos, as everyone else has said James
  44. 3 points
    I was near York at the weekend (about 7 miles from the centre). Skies weren't too bad at all, although LP from York was evident to the south west of Orion. After about 10 minutes of night vision adaptation I managed 17 or 18 stars. My daughter's mother in law who was also outside could only get about 6 or 7 stars even though she is younger than me. I taught her the averted vision trick and she did eventually see a few more. But I do think that experienced stargazers will see significantly more faint stars than newbies or casual viewers. My co-viewer did also learn how to use Orion's belt to find the Hyades and Pleiades too, also Sirius, and I also showed her The Plough, Polaris and Cassiopeia, which she seemed genuinely chuffed to bits with. She also spotted that Betelgeuse looked a different colour to the rest, without prompting☺. I think I could catch more stars from home on a good night, so will try again this week, skies permitting, and submit my findings? Dave
  45. 3 points
    Have I mentioned that I love this scope? Telescope: Skywatcher 130PDS Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro StellarDrive 5 Camera: QHY 163M Filters:Ha + O III + S II Exposure: Ha (green channel): 36 X 600 sec O III (blue channel): 36 X 600 sec S II (red channel): 36 X 600 sec Image data collected using: Sharpcap Processed in Pixinsight and Photoshop CC
  46. 3 points
    I think this is bad trend, now other companies are doing it. Happily I have copies of earlier versions like PS7, 5.5 & 5. Won't be long before MS Windows follows suit, as they have already done it to their Office package, again I have old copies that I re-use, still just as good. I really don't like the thought of renting, when I come up against this I refuse to proceed.
  47. 2 points
    *** SOLD *** In good used condition, no issues, with caps and box. £70 posted to UK, PayPal friends accepted. Thanks for looking.
  48. 2 points
    I agree with Dave (not for the 1st time ! )
  49. 2 points
    Probably my favourite two open clusters M35 and NGC 2158 (they're fabulous sight in the eyepiece) Image from last night - Canon60Da, Borg 90FL, 10 4min subs.
  50. 2 points
    Hello and thanks for the welcome! @ Sunshine: Well, I have overcome several difficulties, and I've learnt that it's easier to find roundabouts to some others! Which mainly means testing the whole setup at home learning to rejoice for a "decent" image, driving out of town every once in a while to get a better one, albeit enduring the cold (or insect attacks if it's not cold!), tiredness, uncomfortable positions, lack of power outlets etc. But if I have to tell the story in a few images, here you are. The first pic is also The first M42 that I found satisfying, taken from the centre of Rome in an excellent night - and excellent is when 8 stars in Orion are visible to the naked eye! – Of course from such an extreme environment you need to use filters, and I chose the IDAS v4 because it is almost narrowband in the Halpha (20 nm). Its bandpass in the blue/green is somewhat larger (60nm, I think) and this leads to a cyan cast which is quite annoying and hard to remove. At the time I used a CG5 (non GT, with self-built controller) and an ED80: great little scope that I can’t decide to sell as it really has textbook optics. Man, was I happy when I first saw this result! Yet I don’t use the ED80 too much nowadays… because from town APERTURE RULES! As a matter of fact, before buying the ED80 there has been a long tradeoff: rather a small frac or a mid-sized Newt? Years after (too many years, in hindsight) I got to use a friend’s SW 150/750: he wasn’t satisfied but being a beginner couldn’t tell why. When I first looked at it I knew exactly why! It had pinched optics, strongly uncollimated primary and secondary, the focuser was squinted, the drawtube entered the lightpath causing any sort of reflections. He had bought it new and only used three or four times. I just told him to give it away for cheap highlighting the defects… but then started to put my hands (and tools, including a hacksaw!) on it and was astonished by the optical quality after solving the issues. In the end I got for small money a really top class Newt and he bought a Mak. This shows that sometimes excellent elements can be ruined by a terrible assembly and QC. So, the Second pic is M42 again, with the Newt and IDAS, this time. One of the reasons for the ED80 choice over the Reflector had been the capability to deliver pinpoint stars. Yes, that’s THEORY, but in practice, with 2.5 to 3 arcsec seeing stars get bloated anyway, and thus the Newt stars aren’t actually any worse than the ED80 ones, but you get a low more light to work on! Just to give you an idea of what an excellent 6” newt can deliver even from Rome, I also attach a Jupiter imaged through it with a 2x barlow and a Mono ASI120 + RGB filters. As I wrote, I’m all for deep sky, but on steady nights with loads of very short exposures planets are definitely doable from the centre of Rome. Sure, you can get better with wider apertures, longer focal lengths and from outside town… but that wasn’t the point, no? Now to the roundabout: I’ve always had a soft spot for small APOs, and finally I purchased an FPL53 72ED f5.5 with 0.8x reducer/flattener (thus 320mm focal length f4.4) for my Star Adventurer. This time it took me three months to get it right and optimize the flattener backfocus (wasn’t a dedicated one), which is – I suspect –why the guy owning it sold it cheap. The last pic is again M42, but this time from outside Rome, where I can use 300” exposures @ISO800. The amount of information that a small APO can catch under clear skies is impressive, and I’m not that motivated to continue shooting from home, except for the fact that here I just need to open a window, while driving 100km takes some planning (also: the next day you’re probably not so proficient at work when you have imaged until 2 in the night and then driven back, just to stand up at 6:30… but please don’t tell my boss). Yet I use every opportunity from home to ensure that the setup is top notch when I go out. Trying to get out the dust lanes, processing in the red is a bit overdone by Star Tools, that I don’t like too much as it tends a bit to decide on its own… I could reprocessit but it isn’t worth it: next time I’ll shoot WITHOUT IDAS filter, because LPS filtered images are rich in Red and Blue, but totally lack other colours. So, hang on for a new pic sooner or later. In summary, I’m not saying anything new, but I have learnt it the hard way: you can achieve decent results from a very light polluted sky, by using as good a mount as you can (in my case a HEQ5, limited by a slipped disk) and autoguider, going for as much aperture you can without undermounting the scope, using aggressive filters (narrowband would be better, but then it’s like astro CCDs and a completely different cost point) and taking loads of shorter exposure frames: this is limited by the sky brightness – too long and you lose dynamics, too short and you don’t get deep enough. On excellent nights I can push 240” @ 400 ISO with the Newt @ f5, and the histogram is around 40%-50%. What’s too deeply drowned in the background just won’t come out of noise, and you have to push processing to discriminate the faint signal from background noise. Flats and darks are critical here. Also, this doesn’t work on every target: emission nebulas are OK, but my experience is that Light Pollution takes a heavy toll on OIII. And wideband is just a no-no, so forget galaxies: even the bright ones are really disappointing. Long post, open for discussion and suggestions (although the welcome section is possibly not the right place): what’s your view on the subject? CS, Fabio
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